I’m not one of those whole living girls that considers alcohol poison. Ha, quite the opposite. I enjoy a full-bodied glass of wine with dinner, I may or may not grab margaritas with coworkers on Margarita Mondays or Tequila Tuesdays, and being the Texas girl that I am, Tito’s is always welcome in my home.

You might share my appreciation for a stiff drink after a hard day, but with great alcohol comes great responsibility. Loving for and taking care of your liver is one of the best things you can do for your body. I’m constantly asked about detoxes that I recommend and whether or not people should go for it. I have no objections to a bi-annual system refresh and tune-ups in between, but the truth is we were created with an internal detox kit.

Your liver’s most important responsibility is to filter the blood that passes through your digestive tract before it pumps to the rest of your body. It metabolizes drugs and detoxifies chemicals. When it comes to your body and alcohol, your liver plays a key role. Only 2% of alcohol is removed through urine; the other 98% is broken down in your liver. In short, when you take care of your liver, it takes care of you.

If you’re wondering what taking care of your liver looks like, I’ve outlined my top 3 ways to drink responsibly, so your liver won’t hate you later in life.

Drink Conservatively | The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines moderate alcohol drinking as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. Yes, friends, sexism knows no bounds as men can drink up to 14 drinks per week while women can only indulge in 7. Christmas at your in-laws may call for more than 1 or 2 drinks, but the point of it all is to have this be your rule, and special occasions are your exception.

Restore & Repair | While there is no magic pill in this thing called life, there is milk thistle which is the next best thing. Milk thistle is a plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It works to draw toxins out of the body that cause cancer development, diabetes, gall bladder disorders and more. More relatively, it fights against the negative effects of alcohol use on the body.

Bonus tips: if you are going to drink, hydrate your body. A good rule of thumb is for every alcoholic drink you consume, you should be drinking 8 ounces of water. Additionally, I recommend coconut water with a squeeze of lemon and pinch of sea salt before bed to prevent hangovers. This also works to cure them.

Find Healthy Alternatives | After I graduated from college and started working full-time, I was overwhelmed with company happy hour’s and friends wanting to catch up over a drink…or three. And when I say overwhelmed, I mean I loved every minute of it. My body, however, was not a fan. Let it be known, that I’ll never pass up a company sponsored happy hour, but when it comes to meeting up with friends, coffee or fresh juice are now my go-to’s. It’s better on the body and the budget.

There you have it! The sad truth is that if you want to live a healthy & whole life, binge drinking can never be an option. Drinking responsibly is more than not drinking and driving, it’s also knowing your limits and looking after your body. After all, it’s the only place you have to live on this earth. The good news is that you don’t have to ditch alcohol altogether, but you do have to be more conscientious about reaching for that second or third glass of wine.

These tips are simply a way for you to enjoy a cocktail with a friend here and there without putting your health at risk. Obviously, some of you may have strong convictions to drinking alcohol that I respect. I would never encourage anyone to drink that is against it for whatever reason. Follow your own moral compass on this one.